Posts Tagged ‘Online Games’

Game Review: Quake Live

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
QUAKE LIVE: Busy Gamer Rating 4

QUAKE LIVE: Busy Gamer Rating 4

First Glance: The reincarnated spirit of Quake III, but downloaded and launched through a browser plug in- and totally free to play.

Short Story: Shoot, blast, explode, or gauntlet your friends, automated opponents, or complete strangers! Fast FPS action with five main types of matches, around forty maps, a skill matching system, and a social networking style system of profiles and friends lists.

The Score: While I could definitely craft an argument for rating Quake Live a 5, I’m going to go with a 4. It is definitely possible to log on and play just one match per day, but I don’t think many gamers will actually play the game in such a manner. One of the best uses of Quake Live is playing with friends, and limiting such play to only an hour at a time would deny the tangled web of matches, vengeance and grudge matches which naturally should result from fragging your friends. You also will most likely not go to the top of the leaderboards putting in an hour or two a day, but most busy gamers will not need that kind of validation to enjoy the gameplay. Being free also gives Quake Live major points- you have to spend exactly zero hours at work to afford it!

The skill matching system means that you can enjoy yourself without getting pwned too hard, even if you are on the wrong end of the learning curve. Its not impossible to stay alive long enough to improve your skills when you are playing matches at your level. It is also perfectly possible to pick the game back up after a long absence. Even if you do get a bit rusty, you’ll still be able to enjoy the game.

Quake Live is perhaps best as a binge game- its best played in segments of more than an hour, but you don’t need to play everyday. (Barring any addiction you may develop, anyway.) It’s great for lan parties and tournaments as well.

Quake Live boasts 5 types of matches and 40 maps! Plus it's free to play!

Quake Live boasts 5 types of matches and 40 maps! Plus it's free to play!

Body of Review: All you need to do to get started playing Quake Live is to take a little stroll to Create a free account, and quickly download the plug in. Then you play a match against Crash, who also shows you around the game a little. The rest of the files you need to play are downloading as you play this match, and this match also places you in the skill ranking system. Once your account is created, you can log in and play from any computer with only minimal time spent downloading content.

Once in the game, you can choose to practice against computer opponents or you can select a match. Types of matches include Capture the Flag, Clan Arena, Free For All, Duel, and Team Deathmatch. You can filter matches based on type, or with criteria such as players on your friends list or maps. Matches appropriate for your skill level are automatically suggested, but you can also choose to play matches at a higher level if you wish. The player base is very good as well, no long waits for matches to fill. You can log in and get to shooting pretty much immediately.

Gameplay is much as you would expect- fast and violent. You pick up weapons such as rocket launchers, lightning guns, grenade launchers, and chain guns, and various armors and power ups. Then you take your new arsenal and try to reach out and touch someone. Techniques such as rocket jumping and strafe jumping will greatly improve both your deadliness and your lifespan, and there are tutorials on both if you need a little help.

Check out more of Rika's Reviews! Photo by Jim Brown.

Check out more of Rika's Reviews! Photo by Jim Brown.

Quake Live also has a built in system of friends lists, and player profiles somewhat similar to a social networking site. Each player profile lets you see a pretty intense amount of information on that player, such as a detailed match history, stats like accuracy and favorite weapons, arena, ect., and players they have recently competed against. Public records keep smack-talking players honest. There is also a built in chat window where you can converse with players on your friends list. Also in social networking fashion, you can use your email contact list to find people you know who play.

The only word of warning for busy gamers is that it is of course not in your best interest to go afk during a match, and any matches you leave without completing do go on your record, so you need to know for certain that you have time to complete a match once you join. Regardless, Quake Live is still one of the best suited online games for those of us with jobs/lives/other games to see to. And did I mention that it’s FREE?